Social media drops hints to first-timers whom to vote for

Social media drops hints to first-timers whom to vote for

Tooba Akhtar, 18, spent the past one week mostly reading “media posts” on Facebook to vote “responsibly” on April 10.

“Reading up on the internet also confused me. While some posts spoke of the ‘Myths and Facts of AAP’, (Narendra) Modi was described as a ‘tainted leader’ in a few other reads. Watching videos on YouTube on what the ruling government has done till now finally helped me make up my mind,” said the first-year student at Jamia Millia University.

“I thought voting would be an elaborate process. But I did not have to wait in a queue,” quipped the teenager from Ajmere Gate.

Around 3.4 lakh of the newly-enrolled voters, who fall in the age group of 18-19 years, constitute almost 2.65 per cent of the total electors. 

For 19-year-old Vishal Bhargana, “voting was a special feeling”.

“The government has to change. I consulted my family members as well and all of us are supporting the anti-corruption agenda,” said the hotel management student.
His sister Henna Bhargana, however, feels that no party is capable of improving “the current sorry state of the nation”.

“But it is better to vote for an alternative instead of boosting the votes of the two mainstream parties,” said the 23-year-old physiotherapist.

While a booth in Civil Lines in Chandni Chowk constituency saw 44 first-time voters till 2 pm, another in Sitaram Bazaar saw as low as four such voters around the same time.

Development, enhancement of job opportunities and anti-corruption are the three factors on the basis of which first-timers mostly cast their votes. Most of them believed the respective constituency candidates did not matter as much.

Astha Gupta, 18, who is awaiting her class 12 exam results, also voted for change. “I believe only a party with a strong leader can make a difference. There is no point in voting for an-early quitter though,” chuckled Gupta.

Relying on “posts on social media” and “television debates”, the teenager realised she needed to vote for better educational system.

Javed Khan, a first-time voter in Jamia area went through the manifestoes of all political parties in the past two days. “I am not going to waste my vote,” said the 18-year-old.

Chawri Bazaar resident Jai checked up the profile of the constituency candidate before he decided on the party.

“Also, most of the candidates intensely campaigned in my area this time before the polls. Interacting with them helped me make up my mind. Depending on just promises made by them would be foolish,” said the 18-year-old.

“But, it’s just so much fun to feel a little more empowered than usual,” he added, excitedly flashing his inked finger.

Twenty-one-year-old Chiraag Gupta, who feels disillusioned with the current system, said, “I believe the Election Commission has done a good job by providing people with the NOTA (none of the above) option.”

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